California considers smog testing bikes

AMA opposes Senate Bill 435

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 19, 2009
The California state Senate is considering a bill that would require new motorcycles to be smog tested biannually.

California Senate Bill 435 (Pavley, District 23, D) is currently in the hands of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. If adopted, the bill would remove the exemption for motorcycles from biennial smog testing. Model-year 2000 and newer motorcycles will be affected by Bill 435 and mandatory smog testing would begin Jan. 1, 2012.

The American Motorcyclist Association released a statement urging the public to oppose Senate Bill 435. According to the AMA, only two counties in the United States had introduced mandatory smog testing for motorcycles, Pima and Maricopa in Arizona. Neither measure resulted in significant reductions in emissions. Pima County has cancelled their smog testing program and Maricopa is awaiting approval from the Environmental Protection Agency to do the same.

The AMA also argues that motorcycles already have the lowest emissions of any motor vehicle category in California because of their relatively low yearly mileage totals. Meanwhile, the state’s motorcycle engine emission standards are already the strictest in the United States and were recently tightened for model-year 2008 and newer motorcycles.

The AMA also argues that the bill is too vague on several vital details including the testing method, enforced emission levels or the potential costs of smog testing to either the state or to individual owners.

Bill 435 sets the deadline for creating a testing procedure for July 1, 2011 and the AMA argues this target is too close to the proposed implementation date of Jan. 1, 2012.